ANU African Discussion Series: Energy in Kenya

This is the first of the ANU’s African Discussion Series

Topic: Lighting the way? Understanding energy and development in Kenya

Date: Friday September 28, 2018

Speaker Dr Edwina Fingleton-Smith.

Edwina is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Fenner School of Environment and Society. Prior to starting her PhD at Fenner, Edwina completed a Masters of Environmental Law and Sustainable Development at SOAS (University of London) and a Bachelor of Development Studies at the Australian National University Edwina previously held a position as a research associate with international development NGO Practical Action working on the development of market-based energy access projects and the links between women’s economic empowerment and energy access.

Venue: Fenner Seminar room 1.01, Building 141, Fenner School of Environment and Society   Map  https://studentvip.com.au/anu/main/maps/83402

Time: 6pm – 7.30pm. Light refreshments will be served around 7pm.

Abstract
Of the 1.06 billion people who don’t have access to electricity globally, nearly half reside in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 60% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity and in many rural areas that number can be as high as 95%. This makes energy access one of the most critical areas for development across the continent if it wants to meet its development targets. Over the past several years, energy access has risen as a global priority, most notably evidenced in its status as a stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 7). Despite the increasing importance on energy for development we have little understanding of how to use it effectively to maximize development outcomes. Based on qualitative research conducted in Kenya, this presentation will ask if we need to reassess our assumptions about the value of energy for improving development outcomes. This includes areas such as the capacity of energy to improve productivity and economic development, the role of energy in improving women’s lives, and what theoretical models around energy use in developed countries can tell us about energy use by the billion people who don’t have access to electricity and the 2.7 billion people who still cook over traditional fuels.

 

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